Naeem's Reviews > War in the Land of Egypt

War in the Land of Egypt by Yusuf Al-Qa'Id
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Mar 01, 08

Recommended for: Kiehl -- despite the fact that he made me read the rancidly irrelevant Mao II
Read in January, 2004

The form here is a murder mystery. Yusuf Al-Qa'id's purpose is to expose the social tensions within Egypt: secularism vs. religion; class differences; family life; gender differences...

The narrative drive (page turning speed) is finely honed; you can't not turn the page. In addition the crafting here is fine, fine, fine. Each chapter is told from a different character's point of view but the points of view are temporally sequential. Each chapter furthers the plot without turning back to the narrative already told.

You get three things: an inside view of the social structures/tensions in Egypt, an unputdownable read, and the flair that comes from astounding skill.

The book was banned in Egypt -- which tells us something about the power of words in those societies that are still politically alive.
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